In A Connected World, Are You Having Connecting Conversations? Think About It!
“As the world becomes a more digital place, we cannot forget about the human connection.”
Are you holding real conversations, leading to real connections?
Stop and think about the question, now think about your clients and future clients… What types of conversations are you having?
To quote Chalmers Brothers,
“Our results are absolutely connected to our conversations.”
With trust and credibility in sales being low already, think about the depth of your conversations.
We live in a world of conversation. Therefore, how you communicate and engage with your clients will shape the outcomes, the relationships and your sales results.
Here lies my question… Why are real conversations, rare, challenging and almost non-existent inside the sales world?
A real conversation is between people who are present in the moment, clearly focused and carry themselves with intentionality.
Are you present in the moment with your conversations?
Are you having sales conversations or connecting conversations? As connecting conversations generate more sales conversations.
In playing off the word, generate, I came across the term, Generative Conversations.
Generative conversations are conversations generating new value or meaning. They involve a direct, honest exchange of sharing which fosters taking action.
They involve an authentic exchange of sharing and inquiry, leading to the emergence of new knowledge or understanding that could not have been created individually.
Generative conversations are based on the principles of dialogue. The word “dialogue” derives from the root “meaning through words.”
This root suggests a flow of meaning between participants. Are you having meaningful conversations with your clients?
With generative conversations, ideas and thoughts are openly shared, expanded on, and brought to the forefront with greater meaning. The result is that each person (think of your clients) wins by walking away with a deeper understanding and shared solution.
There are 5 crucial elements to a generative conversation. I would like you to take a step back and ask yourself, do these 5 elements exist in my client conversations?
- Non-avoidance, hit things head-on
- Space to process, give them time to digest
- Direct and fair communication
Could real generative conversations become the key to unlocking deeper client relationships and long term sustainable? I believe so.
Learning to have real, and clear conversations is an ongoing quest, but well worth effort.
WHAT IS A REAL CONNECTING CONVERSATION?
A real conversation serves a purpose. It is the beginning of friendship, the opening or deepening of a relationship. It’s simply connection. It’s sharing stories, ideas, information and opinions.
Relationships begin with an “hello”, learning the art of conversation allows you to foster meaningful connections, strong partnerships and client communities.
Conversations bridge connection and strengthen relationships.
Why do real conversations matter?
- A real conversation is the lifeblood of relationships
- A real conversation allows for you to articulate meaning
- A real conversation inspires and influences
- A real conversation is where we learn
- A real conversation is the source for discovering new things
Sales professionals engage and connect because they truly care and are committed to building relationships through the art of conversation.
Conversations for connection require you to intentionally listen by being fully present, summarizing what you’re hearing, and then further asking questions about what has been said.
I believe when salespeople are engaged in meaningful connected conversation, they are more likely to speak the truth openly. And isn’t this what you want?
Theodore Zeldin is an Oxford scholar, and he went on to say,
“Real conversations catch fire. The kind of conversation I like is one in which you are prepared to emerge a slightly different person.”
Are your conversations catching fire with your clients?
What are your clients learning from you because of your conversations?
How do your clients feel after having conversations with you?
Lastly, what are you learning about your clients?
You see, a learning conversation leads to connection. It’s a conversation in which everyone strives to make sense of an issue, actively works to understand the meaning the other person is trying to convey, and where they are each prepared to change their views, if need be.
Are these the type of conversations you are having with your clients? It is these types of conversations that will rapidly move the sales needle.
In a connected world, are you having connecting conversations?
I love what Brené Brown says,
“Connection is why we’re here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.”
What would happen if you engaged in curious conversation without any judgement whatsoever?
What would happen if allowed the conversation to flow as opposed to steering it with sales centric, disconnecting conversations?
Moving forward, set expectations for yourself and practice the following:
I will not interrupt. I will encourage. I will pay attention. I will listen, deeply and daringly. I will be present.
GENUINE CONVERSATIONS LEAD TO REAL CONNECTIONS
“Let the conversation flow at its own pace. Don’t try to rush it or control it. You need to let go and be part of the conversation.”
Why is having a genuine conversation a lost sales art? Furthermore, is having a business focused conversation even more of a lost sales art?
So easy to connect yet so difficulty to truly connect. Connecting requires intentionality. Connection requires caring. Connection requires you giving a rip!
Conversations are the strongest sales tool you have to effectively build credible relationships, connections and collaboration.
Curious to know… When was the last time you had a conversation with a client, or a future client and you heard this…
Wow, this was one of the best conversations I’ve ever had!
To connect with meaning, sales professionals facilitate conversations by making someone feel comfortable. They lean in and encourage conversation through curiosity and intentional listening.
Sales professionals understand that a real conversation means they are delivering more than a message, it means they are inviting the other person into the conversation with them. They are providing them the key in which they unlock the door to natural flowing conversation.
Healthy business conversations happen when your clients feel safe enough to discuss the “undiscussables”. This can only happen when you make them feel comfortable enough with you that in turn, they become comfortable sharing uncomfortable business issues or challenges. I call these “business secrets”.
You never know when one conversation will lead to exponential sales growth.
Conversations build relationships, and relationships drive businesses.
People do not care about your canned pitches, pattern interruptions and all about you messaging.
Stop pitching, puking and pushing conversational crapola and start opening a human connection and conversation.
Sales professionals understand that engaging questions lead to engaging conversation, leading to connection, which leads to relationship building.
AUTHENTIC CONVERSATIONS DRIVE CONNECTION
“Authenticity starts in the heart.”
Genuine, heartfelt and real conversations accelerate connection.
Trust and authenticity go hand in hand, as authentic communicating builds trust. Humans are good at sensing authenticity and inauthenticity. Same can be said for your clients. Their B.S. meters are acutely tuned into self-serving sales crapola.
An authentic attitude and approach mean contributing openly and trustingly.
Authenticity is a lifestyle and not a communication light switch
Without trust, your client interactions become guarded, shallow, and lifeless.
When it comes to having authentic, meaningful conversations with your clients, remember to stay true to who you are and be open to the truth of who others are without judgement.
A quote from Arthur Dunn from 1919,
“If the truth won’t sell it then don’t sell it”
Authentic conversation will set you free.
JUST BE REAL
Conversations are the most powerful tool you have at your disposal to foster relationships.
In a connected world, how do you have connected conversations?
Quite simple… You listen with intent. Listen with your heart. Listen to learn. This has a direct impact on your conversations.
Are your conversations filled with business substance or just plain old sales jargon?
I encourage you to rise-up and stand tall in how you connect with your clients to encourage healthy and meaningful conversations. This can only happen by truly giving a rip and inviting your clients into conversations, not pushing them away with all your interruptions.
I will leave you with this…
It is so easy to connect but imagine for a moment connecting with real conversations to the mind of your client’s, thinking together for business betterment, and then where all this exponential sales growth will take you?
Originally published on Larry Levine’s LinkedIn.